The Dow Jones Industrial Average has soared of late, closing Wednesday at 13,968, just a hundred points off its all-time high of 14,087 reached on Monday. The unemployment rate was a low 4.6% in August. Yet if you believe Times reporters and headline writers, the economy is in crisis and turmoil.
The front page of Dealbook, a special business section of the Times included in Wednesday's paper, trumpeted: "After the Party." The text box read: "In a market gone sour, the messy business of buyouts puts reputations on the line."
Andrew Ross Sorkin's actual article on buyouts and related credit market problems didn't directly address the stock market, but it was misleadingly accompanied by an archive photo of the floor of the New York Stock Exchange being swept up in 1938, implying that the current stock market had "gone sour." But the market had closed the following day, Tuesday, at 14,047, just one day off its all-time high Monday of 14,087.
"Until recently, the ballyhoo was not much needed. The revival was going well, in Baltimore and in other cities making the transition away from manufacturing. But now, the banners are the most visible evidence of the incipient damage to this major American city from the turmoil in the national economy.
"As home sales dry up, tax revenues fade, foreclosures surge and hiring declines, a new caution is inhibiting activity."
"Democratic leaders in Congress remain divided about how to address the growing crisis in housing and home foreclosures involving borrowers who took out subprime mortgages."